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Automated External Defibrillator AED

About Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

In Hong Kong, sudden deaths occur every day. As reported by the Hong Kong College of Cardiology, more than 1,000 people pass away suddenly and unexpectedly every year. Many sudden death cases are due to ventricular fibrillation causing cardiac arrest. Once normal heart rhythm cannot be restored promptly, the victim would die within 10 to 15 minutes. Early defibrillation can give victims a better chance of survival. Survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest decrease 7 to 10% for every minute if normal rhythm is not restored. One of the most frequent causes of death and leading cause of healthcare expenditures is out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and the related mortality is 97 to 99% in Hong Kong. It has been reflected by scientific studies that effective defibrillation within three to five minutes of sudden cardiac arrest improves survival. 75% of victims of ventricular defibrillation can be revived. Public access defibrillation (PAD) helps improve the number of survivors with OHCA in public areas.Studies in United States, Europe and Japan have shown that PAD programmes, established to provide access to defibrillators in high-use public areas, in railways, casinos and airports in their counties, survival rate of patients with OHCA has been improved.AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses that potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm. In short, AEDs are designed to be simple to use for victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

PAD Programme and AED in PolyU

To enhance the contingency preparedness on campus, the University Management approved the implementation of PAD programme in 2009. The programme was kicked off in April 2010 and Health and Safety Office (HSO) has acted as a programme leader whereas Campus Facilities and Sustainability Office (CFSO) as operation owner since the kick-off.

Currently, the University has placed more than 20 fully automatic AEDs on campus at locations where large numbers of people gather or where people who are at high risk for heart attacks live. These include Sport Center, Jockey Club Auditorium, Student Halls of Residence and Shaw Amenities Building. Each AED is normally placed in tailor-made stainless steel cabinet. For the AEDs located in public areas without nearby respondents, the equipment is linked with emergency notifications signal to the Campus Control Centre.

CFSO arranges a regular checking and maintenance to each AED installed. HSO promotes emergency preparedness and arranges basic life support training for staff members and related parties in PolyU.

AED Cabinet Security

To allow AED accessibility to anyone, the devices must be left loose in unlocked cabinets. Each cabinet is equipped with a high-pitched local alarm that sounds when the cabinet door is opened and is silenced upon securely closing the door.

In addition to the local alarm, the cabinet doors are wired to send an immediate emergency notification to the Campus Control Centre. It is essential that someone also make emergency call (999 or ext. 7666 to Campus Control Centre) to report the exact location of the emergency so that officers can be promptly directed to the scene.

Click here for additional information on Automated External Defibrillator (AED) (for PolyU staff and students only via PolyU intranet)

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